Insights on Influenza Blog
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Insights on Influenza

Flu Vaccine Question & Answers – Part 1

Posted on September 15, 2021

As an organization that has been discussing and advocating for flu vaccines for 17 years and counting, we’ve heard every question imaginable about flu vaccines.

No matter what your question is, we want to help you get an evidence-based answer. Read below for some of our most common questions and answers about flu vaccines. If you don’t see an answer to your question, check back soon for a future blog post! 

What are the side effects of getting a flu vaccine?
The most common side effect after receiving a flu vaccine is pain or swelling at the injection site. Some may experience fever, but fevers happen because the body is producing an immune response that will help to produce antibodies when you come in contact with the flu virus. 

I’m healthy. Why should I get vaccinated?
The health of people around us affects our health, so we need many people to get vaccinated against flu. While the flu vaccine does protect individuals, it is more effective when more people are vaccinated. While you might be healthy, there are people who are at a greater risk of getting hospitalized or dying from the flu – like children, pregnant women, and the elderly. There are also people who can’t get a flu vaccine – like infants under 6 months old and people with certain medical conditions. 

Why do I need to get a flu vaccine every year?
There are many different strains of the flu virus, and the ones that make us sick can change every year. Global, year-round surveillance is conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify circulating flu strains. That information is then used to select the flu viruses that are put in this year’s flu vaccine. Also, an individual’s immunity from flu vaccination declines over time, so your flu vaccine last year may already be “outdated” now and you need another one for the best defense. 

Sources:
https://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/initiative/tools/Influenza_Vaccine_rates_information_sheet.pdf
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/misconceptions.htm
https://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/virus/recommendations/202102_recommendation.pdf?ua=1
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/general.htm

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